A U. S. Navy veteran during World War II, Harry Putnam was stationed primarily at Pensacola, Florida, from the spring of 1943 until November 1944, when he was assigned to the U.S.S. Suwannee, a small aircraft carrier. He saw action in the Battle of Okinawa.
“You went where you were sent,” he admonishes. “You didn’t necessarily need to be in a ‘blood and guts’ combat unit to fight in the war. The day-to-day activities of those in support units should be fascinating as well to future generations.”
Putnam later became a Rapid City fireman and taught English in the school system, eventually active in local groups promoting writing.
He died Monday, September 15, 2014, age 91, at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Ft. Meade, SD.